- Spokesperson Ned Price issues statement on the missile incident in Mian Channu
The US has said that it does not have a comment beyond what India has said regarding an incident that took place last week when the neighbouring country “accidentally” fired a supersonic nuclear-capable missile into Pakistan because of a “technical issue”.
During a weekly press briefing, State Department spokesperson Ned Price was asked to comment on the incident, to which Islamabad warned New Delhi “of unpleasant consequences”.
“We have no indication, as you also heard from our Indian partners, that this incident was anything other than an accident.
“We refer you, of course, to the Indian Ministry of Defense for any follow-up. They issued a statement on March 9 to explain precisely what had happened. We don’t have a comment beyond that.”
His statement comes after India said on Friday it accidentally fired a missile into Pakistan due to a “technical malfunction” during routine maintenance.
“On 9 March 2022, in the course of a routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile,” the government said in a statement.
“It is learnt that the missile landed in an area of Pakistan. While the incident is deeply regrettable, it is also a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident.”
The ministry said the government had “taken a serious view and ordered a high-level Court of Enquiry” into the incident.
On March 9, a projectile crashed near the city of Mian Channu, causing damage to civilian property. Following this, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General Major General Babar Iftikhar said that the high-speed flying object was a supersonic missile that originated from India.
“The flight path endangered civilians in both India and Pakistan. India must explain what caused this; this reflects poorly on Indian aviation,” he said, adding that this could have resulted in a major aviation disaster.
Meanwhile, Price was also asked to comment on an incident in India regarding uranium theft and its citizens being arrested while smuggling it.
“Sir, have you ever raised concerns on this incident and talk about it during your diplomatic conversations in India?” the spokesperson was asked.
“I’m not familiar with that particular incident. What I would say is that nuclear safety around the world, especially in countries, nuclear-armed countries, it is always a conversation that is ongoing,” Price replied.